CAIRO: Maj. Ahmed al-Ashmawy died in a bomb explosion near the presidential palace of Ithadeya Monday morning, the Ministry of Interior said in a press release.
“A bomb, which was locally produced, exploded near the Heliopolis Sporting Club, as bomb squad experts were diffusing it,” the Interior Ministry’s media spokesperson Abdel Fatah Osman told CBC Extra Channel.
Two pictures were posted on Twitter showing two injured men lying on the floor.
Four Civil Protection officers were injured, Youm7 reported. Security forces closed all streets leading to the palace.
Osman explained that forces in charge of securing Ahram St. in the distrct of Heliopolis suspected the presence of the two bombs. After successfully diffusing the first one, the second bomb exploded, he added.
Security forces continued to inspect other crowded areas and embassies after closing streets leading to Tahrir Square ahead of the celebrations expected to take place on Monday afternoon.
Nearly two hours later, a second blast detonated in a garden in front of Gate 8 of the palace, killing police officer Mohamed Lotfy and injuring six others, Head of Emergencies at the Ministry of Health Mohamed Sultan told Youm7.
Militant groups, namely Ajnad Misr, previously threatened conducting attacks ahead of and on June 30, mainly targeting the army and the police. Unconfirmed online news reported Monday that the group has claimed responsibility for the explosions.
June 30 is the anniversary of the uprising against ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood regime. The demonstrations were launched in June 2013 by Tamarod Movement, when thousands of citizens signed their “Rebel” petition asking Morsi to step down.
Protests continued to take place until July 3 when then-Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced in a speech that Morsi was removed from power.
Additional reporting by Ibrahim Ahmed and Dana el-Hadidi.